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Idaho’s bathroom law protects students, but harms from transgender policies remain

Idaho’s bathroom law protects students, but harms from transgender policies remain

Anna Miller
April 18, 2023

At least 26 school districts in Idaho have adopted transgender student policies.

These policies all enforce some variation of the same corrupt gender ideology. Some allow boys in girls’ bathrooms and require teachers to use the pronouns and name corresponding to a student’s gender identity, regardless of their deeply held religious or personal beliefs. Other policies keep parents in the dark by providing that disclosing the student’s transgender status — even to parents — could result in termination for district staff members. Others authorize training teachers and staff members on “gender diversity.” 

Lawmakers have recently tried to curb some of the harmful effects of these policies. A recently enacted law, Senate Bill 1100, requires public schools to separate bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, dressing areas, and overnight accommodations based on students’ biological sex. The law protects students in these 26 school districts who have adopted transgender bathroom or locker room policies. 

An evaluation of every school district website across Idaho shows that at least 31 school districts enforced a transgender student policy before Senate Bill 1100 was considered by the legislature. Since the bill has become law five Idaho school districts have revoked these transgender policies leaving at least 26 districts still enforcing these policies. 

Firth School District was first to make a change. Its board of trustees revoked Policy 3281 during its meeting on Feb. 8. Challis Joint District repealed its policy on Feb. 14, and Cascade School District followed suit on Feb. 16. On Feb. 22, Cottonwood School District jettisoned a similar policy, and only five days later, Camas County School District revoked its policy. Emmett School District followed, rewriting its policy in March. 

Every school district will now have to update their policies to comply with state law; however, other harmful aspects of these policies will remain. 

The 26 school districts that have adopted these policies can still force teachers to undergo training in “gender diversity,”  lie to students by using their preferred pronouns, and hide a student’s struggles with transgenderism from the child’s parents.

Some districts have not adopted a formal transgender policy but maintain administrative guidelines or implement gender support plans instead.

Boise School District uses a gender support plan that asks for students’ preferred pronouns and directs school staff members to indicate which restroom and locker room the student will use on campus. Jerome Joint District has adopted Policy 3281, but it also uses “Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Administrative Procedures,” which discuss how to implement a gender support plan.

The widespread adoption of these policies in Idaho are largely due to interest groups who push radical gender ideology and pressure public schools to work around state laws and sexualize education at ever earlier ages. For instance, the Idaho School Boards Association (ISBA) has promoted transgender student policies since at least 2015. The state's largest teachers union, the Idaho Education Association, trains educators in gender ideology including how “sexual orientation and gender identity are being recognized and accepted earlier in children,” and has said Senate Bill 1100 “is an attack on LGBTQ+ students.” Public schools will surely continue to lurch leftward under such pressures. 

Indeed, the sexualization of children has already gained a strong foothold in the states schools. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 40.3% of schools have a gay-straight alliance club, 14% of schools train teachers in gender ideology, 21% of schools provided students with LGBT information, 39% of schools teach curriculum promoting the LGBTQ agenda, 35% of schools encouraged the use of gender-neutral pronouns such as “they/them” during instruction to recognize “gender diversity” among students, 68.6% taught students about respecting gender identity, and 52.8% of schools direct students to gender-affirming providers not on school property. 

Traditional education respects parental rights to decide where and how their child should learn, but school districts taken by gender ideology believe parents have no right to dictate what schools teach their children. The ideology strips away the delineation between private and public life in schools. Transgender policies in Idaho school districts are just one example of how this is happening. Clearly, more needs to be done to stave off these disasters. 

Lawmakers took a positive step toward protecting children this session. But public officials must continue to reinstate the unalienable authority of parents in family life to direct their child’s education and care. A traditional education model of objective truth and human dignity must be regained.

Visit LeadMap.org to find out if your district has a transgender student policy. 

The following 26 school districts are among those in Idaho that have formally adopted some variation of these transgender policies:

School DistrictPolicy Number
1Basin District #72513
2Blackfoot District #55519.5
3Blaine County District #61519.5
4Bonneville Joint District #933281
5Buhl Joint District #4123281
7Jerome Joint District #2613281
7Kendrick District #2833281
8Kimberly District #4143280
9Kootenai District #2743281
10Marsh Valley Joint District #213281
11Middleton District #1343281
12Mountain Home District #1933281
13Mullan District #392519.5
14Murtaugh Joint District #418518
15Orofino Joint District #1713281
16Payette Joint District #3713281
17Preston Joint District #201519.5
18Richfield District #3163281
19Ririe Joint District #2523281
20Rockland District #3823281
21Salmon River Joint District #2433281
22Shelley Joint District #603281
23Twin Falls District #4113281
24Whitepine Joint District #2883281
25Wilder District #133507
26North Gem District #1493281
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